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Cairns Group

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Title: Cairns Group  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Foreign relations of Uruguay, Foreign relations of New Zealand, Foreign relations of Chile, Foreign relations of Paraguay, Foreign relations of South Africa
Collection: Agricultural Policy, Agriculture in Argentina, Agriculture in Australia, Agriculture in Bolivia, Agriculture in Brazil, Agriculture in Canada, Agriculture in Colombia, Agriculture in Costa Rica, Agriculture in Guatemala, Agriculture in Indonesia, Agriculture in Malaysia, Agriculture in New Zealand, Agriculture in Pakistan, Agriculture in Paraguay, Agriculture in Peru, Agriculture in South Africa, Agriculture in Thailand, Agriculture in the Philippines, Agriculture in Uruguay, Foreign Relations of Argentina, Foreign Relations of Australia, Foreign Relations of Bolivia, Foreign Relations of Brazil, Foreign Relations of Canada, Foreign Relations of Colombia, Foreign Relations of Costa Rica, Foreign Relations of Guatemala, Foreign Relations of Indonesia, Foreign Relations of Malaysia, Foreign Relations of New Zealand, Foreign Relations of Pakistan, Foreign Relations of Paraguay, Foreign Relations of Peru, Foreign Relations of South Africa, Foreign Relations of Thailand, Foreign Relations of the Philippines, Foreign Relations of Uruguay, International Trade
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Cairns Group

Cairns Group of Fair Trading Nations
Cairns Group countries in light blue
Cairns Group countries in light blue
Type Agricultural exporting countries

The Cairns Group (Cairns Group of Fair Trading Nations) is an interest group of 20 agricultural exporting countries, composed of Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Uruguay, and Vietnam.[1]

The Cairns Group seeks to G20 group of developing nations.


  • History 1
    • Founding 1.1
    • Uruguay Round 1.2
    • Protectionism 1.3
    • Decline 1.4
  • References 2
  • External links 3



The Cairns Group was founded in August 1986, when the Australian government spearheaded the formation of a group and organized the inaugural meeting in the city of Cairns, Australia.[2] There were 14 original member countries—Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Fiji, Hungary, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, and Uruguay—a very diverse group politically and economically. The Australian government led the formation of the group, though some of the South East Asian countries had been working together on agricultural trade through ASEAN. "One of the most striking aspects of the Cairns Group was the intellectual leadership provided by Australia and to a lesser extent Canada. Australia’s commitment to trade liberalization was the outcome of a long domestic debate in which neoliberal ideas had supplanted protectionism and become the guiding rationale of foreign and domestic policy. The Cairns Group offered a mechanism to promote this agenda in a key multilateral forum."[1]

The move to form the group was largely a response to spiralling trade subsidies of the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy and the United States' Export Enhancement Program. Particularly, the objection came to the double standards between the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) forcing countries to liberalise their economies, whilst the United States was granted a waiver for agricultural protection in the 1950s.

Uruguay Round

The Cairns Group successfully forced agriculture onto the agenda of the Uruguay Round, which eventually led to the Agreement on Agriculture. In April 1989 in Geneva, Switzerland, the Group played a critical role in the framework agreement with United States, the EU, and Japan to cover negotiations during the remainder of the Round.


In the ongoing Doha Round of trade negotiations, they are mainly opposed by WTO members seeking to uphold their high level of agricultural protection on grounds of public policy, such as the EU, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, and United States (dubbed the "multifunctionalists").


"By the early 1990s the Cairns Group’s influence was declining, as was its capacity to encourage multilateralism rather than bilateralism among the major powers. It is striking that Australia negotiated a bilateral free trade agreement with the United States, symbolizing just how far both Australian attitudes have shifted and how much the status and importance of the Cairns Group has diminished."[1]

The Group's newest member is Vietnam, which joined in November 2013 as its 20th member.[3]

After its December 2013 meeting in Bali, Indonesia, the Cairns Group issued a communiqué stating its concern about "the trend of import restrictions" that go against the sanitary and phytosanitary measures and agreements and serve as technical barriers to trade on agricultural products. It criticized "overly complex SPS measures and technical regulations, including food labelling".[3]


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b

External links

  • Cairns Group
  • Cairns Group Farm Leaders
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